Period Emoji

 

In 2017, Plan International UK ran a survey and discovered that girls still face a lot of stigma around their period affecting their ability to even talk to their friends or family about it.  

 

Plan International UK is a children’s charity. Through their ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, they’re also dedicated to improving girls’ lives globally. Eight million people around the world have been reached by their work in 2017-18. 

 

According to Plan International UK’s website: “with emoji becoming one of the fastest growing global languages, we realised having a period emoji could help change things.” They created five designs and 54,600 people showed their support and voted for their favourite: period pants which unfortunately didn’t get accepted. 

 

They then teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant and submitted a new proposal for a blood drop emoji.  

 

According to their survey, 40% of UK girls have had to use toilet roll because they can’t afford proper sanitary products, 48% of girls in the UK aged between 14 and 21 are embarrassed by their periods and almost 70% of girls in the UK aren’t allowed to go to the toilet during school lesson time.  

 

Amy Ní Cholgáin, chairperson of DCU’s Femsoc, said “Emojis are becoming more and more important in how we communicate, so of course we welcome the addition of the new period emoji. Shame and stigma around periods is unfortunately still an issue for a vast majority of people around the world - even in Ireland it can be a taboo subject - and that can have serious effects of the development of girls and women.” She also mentioned that “it's introduction is a good sign that we're moving in the right direction.” 

 

Míosta Menstrual Education Ireland, who often hold workshops in universities, are holding a workshop in DCU on Tuesday, February 12th, to teach young people about reusable menstrual products and to debunk stigma surrounding periods.  

 

The Míosta website also offers information about sanitary products and hygiene. They also write their own blog filled with personal experiences with different products to help guide young people, menstruators or not.